It’s time for the FSB to start preparing for a new provocation in the Kerch Strait. It seems that Kiev has learned from the first unsuccessful attempt and now intends to achieve its goal – to push through “freedom of navigation” in the Azov Sea, ignoring the rules set by Russia after the reunification with Crimea and the construction of a bridge to the peninsula.
This time, for the passage through the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian Navy, instead of two artillery boats and a tug, can prepare something more serious – a real icebreaker. A large-tonnage vessel, specially built to destroy ice fields, can be successfully rammed by Russian border ships shouting “Push him!” Not sure it’s going to happen.
This means our military will at least have to shoot across the course in an attempt to stop the violation, and if the captain refuses to obey the order, then flood the icebreaker, assuming all possible consequences. The precedent happened recently, when Russian sailors had to fire the British destroyer Defender from the territorial waters off the coast of Crimea.
Ukraine, which destroyed its own shipyards in Nikolaev, of course, could not build an icebreaker from scratch, and the Soviet ships remained with Russia. Therefore, Kiev bought the icebreaker James Clark Ross from Britain. The other day he dropped anchor in the port of Odessa. In the near future, the documents will be completed, the ship will be renamed (I wonder what?) And the icebreaker will be ready to go to sea.
This purchase, strange for a devastated country (which lost the Crimea, is at war in the Donbass, lost foreign exchange earnings from the transit of Russian gas to Europe), took place on the eve of Independence Day. It looks like a gift from the Ukrainian authorities to themselves. Indeed, to maintain the degree of Russophobia, which has become the main commodity of the independent, new reasons are needed. It’s not a pity for such money.
Kiev paid $ 5.3 million for the “used” James Clark Ross. But to ensure its work, another 6-7 million dollars a year will be required. Numerous sofa experts rushed to blame the Kiev authorities for the unsuccessful decision – they say, too expensive. However, if the goal is to send an icebreaker “for slaughter” to the Kerch Strait, that explains everything.
Another interesting nuance is that Britain sold James Clark Ross to Ukraine at half the price at which the icebreaker was put up for auction. What could make the penny-counting curmudgeon British make such a big concession? Obviously, some kind of collateral benefit. Which? Political. It is profitable for London to inject Moscow with the hands of Kiev.
Naturally, no one in Ukraine is talking about the fact that the icebreaker can be involved in a new attack in the Kerch Bay. Is this announced in advance? They promise to use James Clark Ross for its intended purpose – for research in Antarctica. Cover operation? Sounds about as compelling as Zelenskiy’s recent pledge to send a Ukrainian module to the moon.
Moreover, the trip of the Ukrainian icebreaker through the Kerch Strait can always be justified by the difficult ice conditions in the Sea of Azov. Last winter, the duration of the ice period there was about three months. In the northern part of the Taganrog Bay, ice fast ice was up to 25 cm thick.In 2018, Azov froze almost entirely. So there is a pretext for James Clark Ross. And winter is coming.
To understand how difficult it will be for the Russian border guards if the icebreaker attack really takes place, it is enough to note that the displacement of James Clark Ross is 5,700 tons. While the flagship of the Ukrainian navy, the frigate “Getman Sagaidachny” with a length of 122 meters has a displacement of 3.6 thousand tons.
Russian ships that took part in the first incident in the Kerch Strait (with a ram) have a displacement of 1.2 thousand tons (anti-submarine ship “Suzdalets”) and 0.8 thousand tons (minesweeper “Vice-Admiral Zakharyin”). How could they themselves not fall under the ram of the Ukrainian James Clark Ross. It seems that the Zircon rockets (they have just been successfully tested) are indispensable.
But if there is no doubt about the combat characteristics of Russian weapons systems, just like about the decisiveness of our naval officers, then, alas, there is doubt about the readiness of the country’s political leadership to repulse by military means. The eternal “not to give in to provocations” leads to the fact that these provocations are repeated over and over …
Recall that the results of the first incident in the Kerch Strait can be called a combat draw. Russia did not allow Ukrainian ships to enter the Sea of Azov without observing our rules, took them on board, detained the crew, charged them with illegally crossing the border, but then exchanged them. The ships were returned. The court, fixing the legal correctness of Moscow, did not take place.
Will Russia be able to stop the second attack on Kiev, if it takes place?
– The Black Sea Fleet is absolutely able to fight back, – I am sure Expert of the Academy of Military Sciences Vladimir Prokhvatilov… “Our sailors will find a way to stop him. Even if we are talking about such a large ship as this icebreaker.
“SP”: It seems that we will have to shoot …
– In the 1980s, rather large American ships somehow entered our territorial waters (missile cruiser Yorktown and destroyer Caron – Auth.) And they were pushed back, having made the so-called “bulk”, our much smaller patrol boats … Can’t we find a suitable barge? Let’s search. And let their icebreaker “kiss” this barge.
According to military expert Dmitry Litovkin, Kiev can use the icebreaker for its intended purpose.
– In military terms, this icebreaker is useless. He will be sunk even before he comes to the Crimean bridge.
“SP”: Will it really work in Antarctica?
– Let me remind you that the Odessa Shipping Company, to which this icebreaker will be assigned, in Soviet times was the world’s largest transport agency. And today there are probably people left there who would like to return this status to the shipping company. Including providing services to third countries.
In the Black Sea, such an icebreaker is not needed, but Ukraine has certain claims in the Antarctic, and is also interested in economic activity in the Northern Sea Route area. There are also research institutes in Ukraine. This means that someone hopes that their country will have, as in the USSR, a certain scientific and technical might.
“SP”: “National building” is often accompanied by ambitious plans. Moon, Antarctica …
– Ukraine is trying to integrate into global projects, one of which is the development of Antarctica. By the way, the military alliance AUKUS is aimed at capturing this continent, and not at all against China. There are many mineral resources under the ice. Moreover, the Russian Antarctic stations are located chaotically, while Australia, Britain and the United States have entire sectors there. Here is Ukraine with its icebreaker and wants to join there.